Cruelty case against Forge Farm slaughterhouse has been dropped

Posted on the 22nd January 2020

Secret footage taken over the course of three days in Spring 2017 inside Forge Farm slaughterhouse by Animal Aid, revealed serious cause for concern over the way the animals were treated prior to slaughter, including stunning methods.


The group were horrified to see:

  • Deliberate abuse. One animal was smacked in the face and sworn at.
  • Incompetent stunning of animals. They suspect that many animals may have simply received painful electric shocks and gone to the knife fully conscious.
  • Disregard for the welfare of animals, with slaughterhouse workers sometimes standing on the backs of animals, a sheep being thrown to the floor and a sheep being dragged along by her fleece.
  • One animal fell from the kill line and was simply hung back up on the line without being re-stunned. She appeared to be blinking, a sign of consciousness.
  • A sheep brought into the slaughterhouse in a wheelbarrow. The group suspect that she must have been too sick or lame to walk.

The damning footage was processed and promptly handed over to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the body that regulates slaughterhouses, for further investigation. The case was referred up to the Crown Prosecution Service before being finally being brought to court. The case was heard from 20 January at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court. Sadly, the judge decided not to proceed with the case.

Animal Aid is deeply disappointed to learn that the cruelty case against Forge Farm slaughterhouse in Tunbridge Wells has been dropped. We feel that the British justice system has woefully failed defenceless animals, who were subjected to some horrendous incidents of callous cruelty by workers at the slaughterhouse. Investigating and exposing animal cruelty is a vital part of our work, and we will not be deterred by this terrible injustice.

While we may not be able to rely on the justice system to defend vulnerable farmed animals, the good news is that we all have the power to end the appalling suffering that these gentle creatures face. It has never been easier to choose a cruelty-free, vegan diet, and ensure that you are helping to build a kinder future. We would urge anyone who has been angered by this appalling injustice to take positive action for animals by choosing a vegan diet.

Read our press release

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